Since we were staying at Paradise Pier, we decided to book a 7 am reservation for breakfast at Surf’s Up at PCH Grill located right in the hotel. We are character meal veterans and have experienced quite a few meals over the years. However, all of our previous character meals were at Walt Disney World and we weren’t sure how Disneyland would compare.
We were the first family to arrive at Surf’s Up and we were greeted by Mickey Mouse right as we entered. He was dressed in the cutest Surfing inspired outfit and he was so excited to see the kids. We took an awesome family portrait with him before heading to our table.
Surf’s Up is a breakfast buffet and offers a variety of traditional American favorites including Mickey waffles. When we got back to the table, Daisy sat down and joined us for breakfast. The kids giggled as she checked out the food and let us know her favorites. And when they asked her where Donald was, she let us know he was cooking all the delicious breakfast foods.
Before long, Stitch came to the table. Now as you know, Stitch is a troublemaker. He kept trying to steal Emily’s pony and her food. It was all in good fun though and Emily and Jacob laughed the entire time. He would leave our table for a few minutes and then come back to attempt to steal the pony again.
And then he spotted Jacob’s kitty-dog and Stitch was a goner. He was so excited to learn about the experiment that Jacob had done to transform his stuffed dog into half dog, half kitty. Stitch even tried to get kitty-dog to come live with him which brought on a fit of giggles from Jacob.
Minnie Mouse stopped by a few times to visit with the kids. She loved to dance so she got both the kids up and moving with her. I even witnessed one of the sweetest moments when she and Mickey started dancing together!
At the end of the meal, we all agreed that Surf’s Up was the best character breakfast we have ever had! If you can get a reservation for 7 am, I would definitely do it. Because we were so early, there were hardly anybody else there which gave us more time to interact with the characters.
After breakfast, we went over to the DVC center where the kids played in a supervised playroom while we learned more about the Disney Vacation Club. Joining the club is definitely on our bucket list, but until we reach that point we are learning as much about it as we can. Plus they offered us $50 to take the tour so we figured it was a win-win situation!
From start to finish, the tour took us 45 minutes. Our agent was so nice and he was not pushy or overbearing at all. We learned a few things we didn’t already know (like how DVC members get a substantial discount on their annual passes) and the kids had a great time playing across the hall in the kid’s center. We didn’t end up purchasing the DVC yet, but we had a really good time.
Then it was off to Downtown Disney. Disneyland’s Downtown Disney is probably about 1/3rd the size of Walt Disney World’s. They didn’t have nearly as many shops or restaurants, but we still had a blast exploring. One thing that Disneyland does have is a Build a Bear. And of course that is where my kids wanted to spend their souvenir money.
This Build a Bear was so cool. It is 2 stories and it features both Build a Bear and Build a Dino animals. It also has more Disney outfits than what you would find at a store in the mall. Jacob built a bunny and put a Star Wars sound chip inside and bought it a Stitch outfit and named it Stitch. Emily built Rainbow Dash to be best friends with Pinkie Pie that she had built on her birthday the month before.
After Build a Bear, we walked around and explored before meeting up with my friend Melissa and her family. She lives just minutes from Disneyland and is always willing to help me with the Disneyland posts. We ate at Earl of Sandwich which is always delicious.
Next we loaded up our kids and headed to the grocery store to get snacks and water for the duration of our stay. Groceries were reasonably priced and their were a variety of stores to choose from. I think we went to Vons.
After we unloaded the groceries, we headed back to Downtown Disney to finish exploring. I ran into a longtime reader and we hung out for a while before I met my friend Molly and her family at Rainforest Cafe for dinner. Molly lives about 2 hours from Disneyland, but we met when she lived 2 hours from me in Auburn, AL. It was great to see her and see how much her kids have grown in the 9 years we have known each other.
After dinner, we explored more and hit the World of Disney store. I definitely like the store at Walt Disney World better as the Disneyland version was narrower and definitely felt more crowded. It was neat though how it was built right into the side of the Grand Californian.
After we finished browsing at World of Disney, we parted ways and we headed back to our resort room to watch World of Color and the fireworks one last time.
The next morning, we got up bright and early and hit California Adventure!
Catch up on all of my Disneyland Trip Reports.